It'll be unlike anything else it's ever done.
Although all-electric vehicles currently account for a very low percentage of total vehicle sales in the US, automakers predict this will change significantly in the coming years. There's a reason why all of the mainstream brands, including Detroit, are racing to develop the necessary battery and platform technologies. In other words, Tesla has some serious competition ahead of it. Chevrolet, for example, only has one battery-electric model at the moment, the Chevy Bolt, but this will change next year when an all-new platform debuts that'll underpin numerous models such as the Bolt crossover.
And in a recent interview with Electrek, a Chevy official has just quietly confirmed something we figured was happening. Tony Johnson is the Bow Tie brand's marketing and advertising boss and he claims Chevy is "doubling down" on Bolt sales this year as part of a larger EV assault effort.
For example, there's currently a 0 percent financing offer for 72 months with a $4,700 cash allowance on the 2020 Bolt. If buyers opt for outside financing, the customer cash amount increases to $8,500. Along with training salespeople specifically on EVs, Johnson claimed some 70 percent of today's Bolt buyers are new to GM, which is excellent news now and looking ahead.
"The big thing for us is not just going after people who are already in the EV space," he said. "We have to grow this space. That means going after the EV-curious and showing them how easy it is to live with these vehicles."
Johnson also thinks that EV ownership will increase in the near future partly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to cleaner air because of the lockdowns. Also, EV owners don't require the use of unhygienic gas pumps; they can charge their vehicles at home if they prefer. But there was something else Johnson said that should get everyone's attention.
"We'll definitely fulfill unique customer needs and expand our portfolio. The only way we can grow this movement is to start attacking each segment one by one."
When prompted as to whether these plans include an all-electric sports car, too, Johnson responded, "If we're serious about the future, right?"
It seems Chevy very much has a long-term plan here and while we long suspected an EV sports car would happen, this is perhaps the first time a company official has confirmed this is the case. The question is whether he's referring to an all-electric Corvette, a full-production eCOPO Camaro, or something else entirely? Answers will come in due time.